IEEE Region 4 Newsletter - Fall 2020
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Message From the Director

Thank you for being an IEEE member and a member of IEEE Region 4.

I request that all Region 4 members avoid conducting in-person IEEE activities and instead utilize online and virtual alternatives. IEEE provides many tools to support our membership with virtual engagement, including our online collaboration space IEEE Collabratec.  

Region 4 Awards

It is my pleasure to announce a significant expansion to our awards program.  The Region 4 Awards and Recognition Committee has approved the following new awards:
  • Membership Growth Section (small, medium, and large sections)
  • Membership Retention Section (small, medium, and large sections)
  • Outstanding Student Branch
  • Student Branch Counselor
  • Employer Award
  • Region 4 Outstanding Service 
  • Outstanding Chapter
  • Outstanding Affinity Group
  • Industry Engagement
  • Women in Engineering
  • Diversity and Inclusion
These new awards are aligned with our mission to promote, recognize, and reward excellence in promoting the interests of IEEE.  Shadrack Roberts, our Awards and Recognition Committee Chair, is working on having the Awards and Recognition section of our website updated.  The plan is to open up the 2020 Region 4 awards submission portal in November.

Region 4 Support

Region 4 is here to assist.

Please visit the listing of our Committee Members for any support that your section may need:  

Section Activities
Conducting meetings throughout the year is a critical way for us to engage and serve the vast interests of our members.  Region 4 has created burndown charts that can be reviewed at anytime to view section activities conducted and reported thus far:

2020 Financial Reporting

The deadlines to submit your financials for the fiscal year of 2020 are:
  • February 19, 2021 – In order to be eligible for the additional 10% rebate bonus Geo Units’ financials must be submitted by this date
  • February 28, 2021 – In order to be eligible for a rebate Geo Units’ financials must be submitted by this date
For those Geo Units that report their financials through NetSuite and need assistance with the cloud-based application’s functionality, please contact the MGA Business Finance Solutions team at
For those Geo Units that report their financials through their Sections, please contact the Section Treasurers directly.

I want to take this opportunity to again thank all of our members and volunteers at the Region, Section, Chapter, and Affinity Group levels as IEEE is a volunteer-based organization.

These are challenging times for all of us, but we will make it through this!

Stay Safe and Be Well,

David Koehler

Region 4 Director
Region News
Fall 2020 Membership Report
As we begin a new Membership Year let's take a look at where we finished 2020 and our goals for 2021.

We have three Sections that have met or exceeded their 2020 Recruitment Goals, congratulations to Cedar Rapids, Central Illinois and the Iowa-Illinois Sections, as a Region we recruited 2398 members on a goal of 2921. For Retention three Sections made their goal, congratulations to Toledo, Rock River Valley, and Southeastern Michigan Sections.  We were one of only 2 Regions that met our Reinstatement goal, Region 2 was the other.

September marked the beginning of the new Membership Year, it’s time to reach out to members and remind them that renewal information will be coming.  It’s a great opportunity to remind them to sign up for auto renewal.  Retention is the biggest determinant of whether or not total membership will grow year-over-year. Our total membership at the end of August is the Retention opportunity for the following membership year, see a screen shot from the August report below.  We were 4.2% below our 2020 Retention goal overall.  Please add the review of your goals and status to your monthly ExCom meetings.

Our 2021 Goals

Retention Goal will be 77.6% of 17,889, which is a 1% growth over the 2020 goal.

Recruitment Goals for the Region is 2,510 members a 5.0% growth over our 2020 numbers.

Reinstatement Goal is 5%, for Region 4 that’s 719 members we need to invite back.

MD goals are established for each individual Section for both Retention and Recruitment The Retention and Recruitment goals are broken down by Section and are available in OU Analytics and are posted to our Google drive.

So what is Membership Development?  It is to lead generation and member engagement, not just by recruiting new members but providing opportunities for current members to grow.  Remember most of our member involvement is at the local level, so let’s provide an excellent member experience based on what they want and everything else will follow.  Membership Development is all of us.

Remember the Membership Development (MD) Chair plays a key role in ensuring the future growth of IEEE and its members. The MGA Membership Development page ( supports IEEE volunteers worldwide who are engaged in membership development activities. This suite of tools and resources is designed to give MD volunteers what they need to be successful.
IEEE Region 4 Industry Engagement Committee

This Committee facilitates Region 4 industry engagement activities across the Region, coordinates at the Region level, identifies and acts on opportunities, gaps and overlaps across Region 4, launches initiatives, and recommends to the Region 4 Executive Committee needed development of products and services that meet the needs of industry, government and industry professionals.   

Following are some of the accomplishments of the 2020 Industry Engagement Committee which will provide value to the industry practicing professional members: 

  • The Region 4 Industry Professional Survey was sent out in mid-September. It is being summarized and the raffle for the participants will be held in early November. (Subra Ganesan – project lead)
  • Assistance of Region 4 Special Projects Committee to summarize survey results. (project lead – Alkesh Patel)
  • A three-fold flyer for Sections that can be customized for face-to-face meetings between IEEE and Industry will be rolled out in November. (Bruce Lindholm – project lead)
  • A document on how to filter the existing membership database to easily find Section industry members and employers will be rolled out in November. (Jim Riess – project lead)
  • Spreadsheet indicating future industry-themed events scheduled on vTools is available on the Region 4 Google Drive in the Industry Engagement folder. (Bruce Lindholm – project lead)    
  • Spreadsheet indicating past industry-themed events scheduled on vTools is available on the Region 4 Google Drive in the Industry Engagement folder. A good source of topics and speakers for future events. (Mark Ciechanowski – contributor)     
  • Capablity to provide guidance and assistance to sections in conducting virtual events if they request. We have a webex license from IEEE to conduct virtual events and meetings for our sections/chapters if needed. (Jim Riess – project lead)
  • Southeast Michigan Section - sponsor and help organize virtual SEMS 18th Embedded system workshop - October 17 and 24 - 8:30 am - 12:15 pm. $200 sponsorship. (Subra Ganesan – project lead)
  • Chicago Section – co-sponsor for four virtual seminars/tours (Jim Riess – project lead):
  • Chicago Section - silver sponsor for virtual Annual Expo & Fair. $250 sponsorship. (Jim Riess – project lead)
  • Northwest Sub-Section – co-sponsor for The Art of Engineering Commercialized Products. (Jim Riess – project lead)
  • Milwaukee Section – organizing proposed second annual Milwaukee Tool Industry hosted event. (Karthik Palaniappan – project lead)
  • Nebraska Section – interest expressed in possible Industry-themed conference or other event. (Jim Riess – project lead)
  • Virtual Presentations – These can be part of the industry-themed event (10-15 minutes) to educate members & industry about what industry engagement is all about. Slide deck created. (Jim Riess – project lead)
  • Industry Job Postings on R4 website and R4 Newsletter – free during Covid19 era. (Karthik Palaniappan – project lead)
  • Event Funding – Up to $250 support for approved major industry – themed events.
  • Faciltate/Assist in vTools Events & eNotice for regionwide communication. (Jim Riess – project lead)

Contact Jim Riess, Chair  for additional information and on how you can be involved with the program. 

Virtual Events in Sections outside the Member's Section
There are limited events during this difficult year, and the same expected into 2021. The Region 4 Industry Engagement Committee encourages you to attend any Virtual Event in any other Region 4 Section.  We are providing monthly updates of future vTools Events in Region 4. Our goal is to update the Future Events file which is located in the Region 4 IEEE Google Drive directory each month. You may need to use your IEEE gmail account to access this folder using the link below:

The list includes the event title, the chapter/organization, date/time and Event contacts. At the end of September there were 22 future virtual events offered in the Technical and Professional categories.

Send any suggestions or questions to or
Unlock access to a world of possibility with IEEE

Growing our membership by reaching out to non-members attending our virtual events

In an effort to help our Sections reach out to non-members we will be forming a small team of volunteers to send out email follow-ups after virtual sessions.  I have worked with the IEEE Office to put together a template email with links to more information on the IEEE website.

This is a great opportunity for a micro volunteer activity, no long commitment, help when you can. 
Micro Volunteering: Making a Difference in a Matter of Minutes.  
Micro-volunteering describes a volunteer, or team of volunteers, completing small tasks that make up a larger project.  These short, infrequent volunteer opportunities are often called “microvolunteering,” which allows people to volunteer for specific tasks that can be completed in a short window of time.  We want to make volunteering for IEEE fun and easy.

If you are interested or want more information please contact me at or by phone at 319-981-8372.
Chapter Meeting Charts

Region 4 now has Chapter Meeting charts working again. You can see chapter meeting data for this year 2020. These new charts use the updated vTools data format. The new data format contains a new way to represent joint chapter meetings. All joint chapter meetings are now counted and correctly displayed.

You will notice some new features. You can display data for an individual Section by clicking the link for the Section name. You can also display data for an individual Society or Affinity Group by clicking the link for the Chapter name or Affinity Group. For example, if you want to see just the data for all of the WIE groups, click the link “WIE”.

The current charts format is just the first version. I plan to add more features such as time-series data to see how meetings progress throughout the year.

Let me know how you like the new layout and web page interface. Also let me know if you find any issues such as missing chapter names. 

The charts are on the Region 4 web site under “Section Maps and Meeting Charts” at Click on “Year 2020”. 

Mark Ciechanowski
Chapters Coordinator
Science Kits for Public Libraries News

Inspire children.

Change lives.

Build community.


The Region 4 “Science Kits for Public Libraries” (SKPL) project provides Grants to Public Libraries for the creation of circulating science kit collections that are borrowed to the community just like a book. 

Right now, Public Libraries are at best offering significantly reduced services. Boy, do I miss them. Hopefully by this time next year they will be fully operational again. 

This has been a good year for Region 4’s SKPL project. In 2020, seven Grants of up to $2,000 each were awarded by Region 4 thanks to the generosity of Region 4 members and member employers. In addition, three Section’s, namely Chicago, Milwaukee, and Northeast Wisconsin each awarded their own Grant. These Granted libraries and the communities they serve will be positioned to inspire children to consider the study of science and engineering, via hands-on use of science kits when normal returns.

Science kit backpacks on a rack in Chicago.

Get involved. Make SKPL happen in your community.

Here is how
We are now accepting applications for 2021 SKPL Grants. Make your library aware of the Grant by providing them the following link: Click here.
  • Seek a corporate grant from your employer. Or just point us in the right direction and we will take it from there.
  • Seek funding from a local service organization. Rotary, Lions, etc. Let us know if we can help.
  • Make a tax-deductible donation. Donate 
  • Volunteer – Click here.
2021 Goal - 10 SKPL Grant Awards ($20,000)


There are many volunteer-led pre university activities happening around the world, but it is not known collectively what is being done.  The IEEE staff at Try Engineering is in the process of creating a centralized resource called pre-U that will allow IEEE-STEM volunteers world-wide to share information with each other, provide a central set of STEM resources to draw from, and provide “how to” training” to facilitate execution of programs. The pre-U STEM portal is scheduled to be launched in early 2021.  

In their own words
Putnam County Public Library District “The grant allowed the library the opportunity to explore different mediums that are not normally checked out or considered in a normal library setting.”

Joliet Public Library “The grant allowed us to develop a collection that introduced hands on science kits to an age group that had never had any hands-on kits available before at our library. Feedback has been very complimentary, with the vast majority of patrons loving the kits and wanting more. We have some families that are checking each kit out, one at a time, until they have tried them all. Especially in this time of school closures and home schooling, parents and teachers really value the kits and there are never more than a few on the shelf because they are always checked out. We actually had to emphasize patrons should put a hold on kits if they wanted to check one out, because there was no guarantee one would be available when you come into the building. “ 

LaSalle Public Library “Because the grant made it possible to have the Rokenbok kits in the Library, it provided time for children to interact with the materials, problem-solving and collaboration on an informal basis, where the outcomes were not time-sensitive or part of a school grade. This more leisurely opportunity really let kids explore options, make mistakes, and challenge themselves. It also provided for parental engagement. Regarding formal and informal educators, non-science teachers engaged in re-learning basic science, engineering, and physics concepts, which supported their comfort level in teaching their students the material.”

There is never enough time or money available to do all the things you would like to do or feel you ought to do. The only viable solution is to choose what to neglect, in favor of what matters most.
What is IEEE-USA?
IEEE-USA is your resource to support the career and public policy interests of U.S. IEEE members. Our products and services are designed to enhance your professional growth and career advancement. And we do that in three key ways:

Government Relations
IEEE-USA is your eyes, ears and voice in Washington, D.C. and state capitals. Our dedicated volunteers and experienced staff work directly with our nation’s leaders to craft solutions to the challenges facing the country and technology professionals.

This includes advocating for basic and applied research funding, advancing ethical AI implementation, protecting intellectual property rights for small and independent inventors, and more.

For all the latest, check out Russ Harrison’s live bi-weekly Washington Update webinar on Facebook or YouTube.

Career & Member Services
IEEE-USA produces dozens of free career-focused webinars every year. Earn PDHs or CEUs while learning about PE licensure and registration, tips to advance your career, practice ethics in the workplace and more.

In addition, IEEE-USA writes annual reports on topics like engineering salaries and benefits, offering insight to help understand the state of the profession and ensure your salary is in line with the industry.

We also provide resources for engineering consultants, including the Consultant Finder service to link you with potential projects and clients, support for the IEEE Consultants Network and more.

Communications & Public Awareness
IEEE-USA publishes e-books on topics like careers, skill development and more. There are currently more than 150 titles available, plus new ones every month, all free to IEEE members.

Our free flagship publication, IEEE-USA InSight, offers new articles every week on leadership, innovation, STEM education, professional development and more. You can sign up for the monthly InSight newsletter to stay abreast of the latest content, news, products, services, events and more.

Each year, we sponsor conferences and organize events, like last year’s popular EVO leadership conference. In response to COVID-19, we quickly set up a resource page to help members who may be impacted by the pandemic. This page, with regular updates, offers news and information, professional resources, career tools, ways to unwind, and even some stuff for kids.

Don’t forget to follow us and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn!
IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events (MCE) Top-Line Report
Section News
Toledo Section Update
  1. The Toledo section received recognition for its 2020 Outstanding Section Membership Retention Performance.
  2. The Toledo section celebrated IEEE Day on Tuesday October 6, 2020 by offering an on-line presentation on Security of Industrial Control Systems. The presentation was made by Dr. Yurekli (CISSP). It was attended by approximately 20 individuals. Attendees earned one (1) PDH by actively participating in the presentation.
  3. Institute Night, the Toledo section’s most-attended function, will be held on Thursday November 19, 2020. The traditional dinner, held before presentations, will not take place this year; instead, presentations will be on-line. Participants will be offered the opportunity to earn one (1) PDH by actively participating in a technical presentation. Details will be posted on the section’s website. Registration will be required for participation.
Iowa-Illinois Section Hosts Annual Cybersecurity Conference
Cybersecurity and privacy are on the minds of government officials, business leaders,
educators, and parents. In an age where everything can and will be connected to the Internet,
we are faced with the opportunities that new connected technology brings and at the same
time must deal with attacks coming fast and furious by our digital adversaries.

It was for this reason that a few of us decided in 2015 to start an annual cybersecurity
conference in Davenport, Iowa, with IEEE as a leading conference sponsor. As with many
cybersecurity and hacker conferences, we needed a clever name and decided (because we
were located in Iowa) to refer to our Quad Cities Cybersecurity Conference as CornCon.

We have grown year after year, with almost 500 attendees in person in 2019. In addition to
contests, villages and world-class speakers, we have held a kids’ hacker camp alongside the
conference on Saturday for about 100 kids aged from 7 to 17. For five years, the conference
was held at a local university, where they were a co-sponsor, so we didn’t need to pay for
rental of the venue. We also started holding a Spring kids’ camp at the local community college.

In 2020, we were planning to rent the local conference center to host an expanded 2-day
conference and expo, with a larger kids’ camp. Pandemic restrictions prevented us from having
an in-person event, so we shifted to a fully online conference with two speaker tracks and a
tutorials track, with 50 speakers over two days, October 2-3, 2020. Topics included:
cybersecurity, privacy, risk, IoT, Work from Home, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum

Registration was approximately 350, in addition to speakers and volunteers. Presentations were
live using the Zoom Webinar platform, with 30-50 viewers for most presentations. Attendees
received up to 16 CPE credits for attending. Our sponsorship level remained very strong, so it
was free to attend and all of our speakers were recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube
channel at, We anticipate many more viewers will find our presentations on
YouTube and further expand our impact on the industry.

While the kids’ hacker camp, referred to as The Children of The CornCon, was postponed, we
do plan to have a camp with security, privacy, engineering and STEM activities online later this
school year, and in-person when we are able to once again do that safely.

To learn more about this year’s CornCon, and to watch for our next event Fall 2021, please
check out our conference website,

John Johnson, Vice Chair, Iowa Illinois Section
News from the IEEE Chicago Section
2020 IEEE CHICAGO AWARDS:  The 2020 IEEE Chicago Section Awards were held during the 126th Anniversary event held online on Saturday October 3rd.  The award for Outstanding Young Engineer was presented to Saba Khalid.  The award for Friends of the IEEE Chicago Section was awarded to Shure Inc. The award for Distinguished Mentor was presented to Dennis Barfuss.  The award for Outstanding Section Member was awarded to Louann Mlekodaj.  The award for Distinguished Officer was presented to Dr. Alvin Chin.  The Distinguished Research & Development Award was presented to Dr. Yi Li.  The Life-Time Service Award was presented to Professor Carol Davids.  Certificates of Appreciation were presented to Rob Klein, Peter Salerno and Besma Smida.  Certificates of Appreciation were also presented to members of the 126th Anniversary event committee.  The committee members were Alvin Chin, Gina Martinez, Dave Hendrickson, Dana Al-Qadi, Elsa Madrigal, Mattewos Tefferi, Lauren White, Robert Hernandez, Steve Michaels, Matt Cavelli, and Megan Czach.  Congratulations to all of our award recipients (see picture below). 


2020 IEEE Chicago Awardees
IEEE CHICAGO ANNUAL EXPO & FAIR:  Based on the success of IEEE Chicago's 125th Anniversary last year, IEEE Chicago decided to hold a 126th Anniversary event this year. However, due to COVID-19, it became an online event.  Despite the challenges, IEEE Chicago successfully held its 126th Anniversary event online on Saturday, October 3.  The event started with an introduction from General Chair Dr. Alvin Chin and IEEE Chicago Chair Valentine Novosad.  IEEE Region 4 Director David Koehler talked about IEEE Region 4 and its many activities.  This was followed by the morning keynote speaker Prof. Anita Nikolich talking about FABRIC and IoT.  Videos were presented introducing each of the IEEE Chicago societies, followed by a Q&A session with each of the societies.  There was a fun social activity for lunch with online bingo where 3 Amazon gift cards were awarded.  In the afternoon, Prof. Mark Werwath presented the keynote on Crisis-Driven Innovation, followed by sponsor presentations, IEEE Day from Connie Kelly, Chicago Engineers Foundation from Debbie Birrell, IEEE Chicago History from George Thomas, Real-Time Communications Lab from Prof. Carol Davids, and presentation of the IEEE Chicago Section awards.  A raffle for complimentary student and professional memberships ended the event.  We would like to thank our sponsors, the organizing committee and the attendees for supporting and attending this event.  You can see the details from the event at   

IEEE CHICAGO & INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT:  This year IEEE Chicago partnered with IEEE Region 4 Industry Engagement Committee in organizing, promoting and co-hosting a number of events, including technical seminars from two high-tech companies (Bruker and RAITH), video tour of mHUB Chicago, one of the nation's largest hardtech innovation and manufacturing center, as well as a virtual webinar “Meet Your Neighborhood DOE National Labs: ARGONNE and FERMILAB” that attracted almost three hundred attendees. Another major Section-wide event about the research and internship opportunities at  Argonne National Laboratory organized for students.

INTER-CHAPTER ACTIVITIES: IEEE Chicago encourages its Chapters and Affinity Groups to have join technical and social events. An excellent example of is upcoming 2nd Joint Annual Meeting of the IEEE Magnetics Society and IEEE Nanotechnology Council Chicago Chapters. It will be held on Nov.23., 2020, in a virtual format. The meeting will convene local academics, professionals and students with broad interests in magnetics and nanotechnology. It will provide a unique forum for highlighting the latest advances in magnetic materials, nanomagnetics, nanotechnology, and nanoelectronics. The meeting will also provide opportunities to facilitate networking and collaboration. There will be a student/postdoc poster session during the meeting with awards for best poster presentation. Two BEST POSTER prizes will be awarded. Confirmed speakers include Mathias Klaui (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany, IEEE Magnetics Distinguished Lecturer 2020), Tim Mewes, University of Alabama, IEEE Magnetics Distinguished Lecturer 2020), Andrei Slavin (Oakland University), Chengkuo Lee (National University of Singapore, IEEE Nanotechnology Council Distinguished Lecturer 2020), Martin Holt (Argonne National Laboratory), Pallab Goswami, (Northwestern University), Vinod Sangwan (Northwestern University) and Hanu Arava (Argonne National Laboratory) Free registration at

IEEE SENIOR MEMBER ELEVATION EVENTS: Senior member is the highest grade for which IEEE members can apply. IEEE members can self-nominate, or be nominated, for Senior Member grade. To be eligible for application or nomination, candidates must: Be engineers, scientists, educators, technical executives, or originators in IEEE-designated fields. IEEE Chicago, together with its sub-suctions had a second round of virtual panels assisting and nominating our members to be elevated to a Senior Member grade. Almost sixty local members became elevated this year!

IEEEXtreme COMPETITION: Concordia University’s programming team has taken first place among Chicago-area competitors in the IEEEXtreme 24-hour programming competition, the fifth time in six years the team has accomplished the feat. The annual Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers contest also awarded the team third place in the United States and 73rd in the world, an improvement of 57 places from last year. The world ranking is out of 4,557 teams. The competition is a global challenge in which college students at all levels compete in a 24-hour period to solve a set of programming problems. Our sincere congratulation to Concordia faculty advisor Victor Govindaswamy and student team: Iskandar Sobirov, Collin Pearce and Marcos Duran.  

SECTION LEADERSHIP in 2021: Our newly elected IEEE Chicago Section officers for the next years are as follows: Section Chair: Sachin Kumar, Section Vice Chair: Brook Abegaz, Section Treasurer: Alvin Chin, Section Secretary: Dana Al-Qadi and Advisory Chair: Valentine Novosad.
Upcoming Events
Cedar Rapids Area Derecho Storm:  Electrical Grid Impacts & Recovery - Nov 19th
Co-hosted by the Cedar Rapids and Madison Power & Energy Societies
Date:  November 19, 2020 - 4 PM to 5:15 PM Central Time
Where:  Registered attendees will receive link to view the presentation
Register Now:

A rare derecho storm created straight line winds gusting between 126 – 140 mph in Linn/Benton Iowa counties with concentrated damage in the Cedar Rapids Iowa area. Cedar Rapids and Madison Power & Energy Societies are offering this virtual event focusing on the power system damage. Join us to hear the impacts and recovery of the power transmission network managed by ITC and the power distribution system managed by Alliant Energy.

The August 10 2020 derecho storm intensified and centered on Linn County/Cedar Rapids Iowa. Damage extended from Nebraska and beyond Indiana.  Severe building and tree destruction took out the power and communication grids.   

Join this event to learn of the impact and recovery on power transmission and distribution systems in the area.  ITC Midwest and Alliant Energy are the presenters. 

Read about the storm here:


Corey Proctor - Manager of Transmission Design at ITC Midwest

Topic: ITC Midwest Derecho Impact and Response

On August 10th the largest single storm event in the history of ITC Midwest affected the transmission system.  At the height of the storm over 145 individual circuits where out of service.  Over 500k electric customers were without power stretching from Des Moines to Clinton, IA.  The storms 40 mile wide path cut right through the heart of ITC Midwest’s transmission system.  The entire employee pool for the company went to work within hours of the storm and eight days later energized the last distribution substation with power.  The presentation will cover the effects and recovery from the storm and how the engineering team designs and builds resilience into the transmission system to serve our customers.


Corey Proctor, Manager Transmission Design started his career in 1999 after graduating with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University.  Over his career he has worked in Substation Design, System Protection, and Transmission Design Engineering for ITC Holdings.  Corey is currently responsible for the transmission design organization that supports engineering design for ITC Midwest, METC, ITCT, and ITC Great Plains for ITC Holdings Corporation a Fortis Company.



John Boston - Director of Engineering at Alliant Energy

Topic: Alliant Energy - Restoring Power After the Derecho

The derecho on August 10 brought devastation few have ever seen before. More than a quarter of a million of Alliant Energy’s customers didn’t have power. In some communities, a near-complete rebuild of the electric system was necessary to restore power to all homes and businesses. John Boston, Director of Engineering at Alliant Energy, will discuss how Alliant Energy worked as quickly and safely as possible to rebuild the electric system and restore power to customers.

The presentation will also cover how Alliant Energy managed resources effectively, utilized advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) data to validate outage information and the logistics of dispersing the massive amounts of materials needed to restore power.


John Boston is the Director of Engineering at Alliant Energy. In his role he directs and guides the activities of the electric, gas and generation engineering teams to achieve the objectives of the Operations business unit. This includes ensuring that operational performance expectations and the evolving needs of customers are met. John and his team utilize new technologies and innovative ideas to achieve the company’s vision.  John joined Alliant Energy in 1994 and has held his current role since 2018. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State and an MBA from the University of Iowa.

IEEE WIE R4 Virtual Panel:  A Fireside Chat with David & Brad - Dec 4th


The Missing Ingredient in Gender Equity

Women, and women of color in particular, are at a persistent disadvantage in the workplace. Women deal with unequal pay, sexual harassment, lack of credit for their contributions, and more. These inequities are even more egregious for Black women and other women of color. And while many organizations say they are working to address gender equity, too many gender initiatives focus on how women should act and respond, largely leaving men out of the equation. This is a mistake. In this conversation, gender equity experts David G. Smith and W. Brad Johnson will share current research evidence bearing on how men must engage to promote greater gender equity at work. The #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, as well as the systemic inequalities laid bare by the Covid-19 pandemic, have forced people in positions of power—mostly white men who dominate leadership roles across many public and private institutions, spanning government, corporate, legal, finance, academia and healthcare—to realize that they must step up if there is any hope of using this moment to make organizations more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Smith and Johnson will offer tangible and actionable recommendations to organizational leaders on engaging men and building a self-sustaining culture of male allyship. They will share best practices from their latest Harvard Business Review book, Good Guys, which shows how men can partner with colleagues to advance women’s leadership by breaking gender stereotypes, overcoming unconscious biases, developing talented women, and women of color, around them, and creating more equitable and productive work environments.

David G. Smith, PhD, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Good Guys: How Men Can Be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace and Associate Professor of Sociology in the College of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College. A former Navy pilot, Dr. Smith led diverse organizations of women and men culminating in command of a squadron in combat and flew more than 3,000 hours over 30 years including combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a sociologist trained in military sociology and social psychology, he focuses his research in gender, work, and family issues including gender bias in performance evaluations, dual career families, military families, women in the military, and retention of women. He is the co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women and numerous journal articles and book chapters that focus on gender and the workplace.

W. Brad Johnson is Professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. A clinical psychologist and former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps, Dr. Johnson served as a psychologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the Medical Clinic at Pearl Harbor where he was the division head for psychology. He is a recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Teaching Excellence Award, and has received distinguished mentor awards from the National Institutes of Health and the American Psychological Association. Dr. Johnson is the author of numerous publications including 13 books, in the areas of mentoring, professional ethics, and counseling. His most recent books include: Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women, The Elements of Mentoring (3rd edition), On Being a Mentor (2nd edition), and the forthcoming, Good Guys: How Men Can be Better Allies for Women in the Workplace.

Do you want to keep up on the streaming events and recorded videos for Region 4 at IEEE?  Visit  to see the latest video happenings.
Do you have an idea for video recording an event at your location?  Contact Mike Fallenstein at for help on getting started with recording a meeting or event.
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